A bug prevents users from installing third party applications on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, but luckily there is a solution.
With each new version of a program or an operating system it is normal that the first days are the most difficult for users and developers.
It is the case of Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, which was officially released last week; Although this new version takes months of testing, it has not been until now that millions of people have been able to test all its functionalities, and inevitably, have found bugs.
Of course, most bugs do not usually affect the normal operation of the system too much, and that is not the case of the bug that has been discovered today: it is not possible to install third-party software, such as the Google Chrome browser, the Steam app, and many more programs that are not in the official repositories.
How software installation works in Ubuntu
Usually, When we want to install a program, we open the software center, look for it, and click on Install; That works if the program is in the official repositories, servers maintained by Canonical (creator of Ubuntu) that keep the latest versions available.
But we can’t get all the programs we want this way; for example, if the program is not open source, as is the case with Chrome. In that case, we have to go to the Chrome page and download a .deb package in which we just have to double click and click Install.
What is this bug when installing third-party applications in Ubuntu
The problem is that if you try, the system may not leave you. Although we can open the .deb without problems, if we click on Install nothing happens.
The culprit is the new Ubuntu Software Center; it’s one of the new features in version 16.04. Previously Canonical developed its own software center, but with this version they decided take advantage of the one included with the Gnome desktop.
Although this change should not affect users much, it has been confirmed that it is a bug in the new software center that Prevents packages from being installed that do not come from repositories.
Why is this bug so serious?
Ubuntu 16.04 is an LTS version. This means that it has a guaranteed support of about five years, and it is not only aimed at normal desktop users, but also for system administrators, programmers, and all kinds of users.users who need great stability in their system.
That an LTS version was released with such a serious bug is not something to brag aboutprecisely because it can cause serious problems for thousands of users. For example, if we have to install Ubuntu on computers without an Internet connection that need their own programs, such as those of a company. Until Ubuntu 16.04.1 is released in June, all the ISOs that we download will have the bug.
The good news is that an official patch is already on the way to fix the bug, and when available the system will install it automatically, so we really don’t have to do anything.
But if in the meantime we want to install third-party software in Ubuntu, we have two options:
This is something that is not normally recommended, since if we cannot install a program, it is usually for a good reason. But in this case we know that it is a problem of the software center.
We just have to open a new terminal and navigate to the folder where we have downloaded the .deb package. For example cd Downloads / if we have it in Downloads.
So, we write the following commands:
sudo dpkg -i app_name.deb
sudo apt-get -f install
Using the proposed repositories
We can also add the proposed repositories, which contain updates that have not yet been tested. The patch for the software center is already there, but it is not installed because the proposed repositories are not activated by default.
Please note that if you take these steps, you will start receiving updates more often, and some of them may lead to bugs. So these are recommended if you don’t mind the risk.
First, open the Unity menu and look for Software and Updates. On the Updates tab, check Updates an unpublished (xenial-proposed). Close and update the system.